Star Wars: After Trump calls for 'Space Force', Russia says it won't deploy weapons in space first

Reuters
Moscow, Russia Published: Aug 20, 2018, 09:25 PM(IST)

File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Photograph:( Reuters )

Russia does not plan to put weapons in space first and considers this to be an important signal that Washington should not ignore, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency on Monday.

The United States last week voiced suspicion over Russia's pursuit of new space weapons, including a mobile laser system to destroy satellites in space, and the launch of a new inspector satellite which was acting in an "abnormal" way.

Star Wars
President Donald Trump's administration had earlier this month announced an ambitious plan to usher in a new "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the military by 2020, but the proposal was scorned by opponents and may struggle to get liftoff in a divided Congress.

Trump has strongly championed the idea of creating a space-focused military service with the same stature as the Air Force and the Army, turning his dreams of a "Space Force" into a rallying cry for supporters at political events.

His 2020 reelection campaign sent a fundraising email on Thursday asking supporters to vote on their favourite Space Force logo for future Trump campaign merchandise, offering a choice of six.

US Vice President Mike Pence, in an address at the Pentagon, described the Space Force as "an idea whose time has come."

"America will always seek peace in space, as on the Earth. But history proves that peace only comes through strength, and in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead," Pence said. He added that Congress must now act to establish and fund the department.

Trump tweeted: "Space Force all the way!"

The Space Force would be responsible for a range of crucial space-based U.S. military capabilities, which include everything from satellites enabling the Global Positioning System (GPS) to sensors that help track missile launches.

But critics view its creation as an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavour, a vanity project that simply strips away work already being done effectively by services like the Air Force.

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